Sunday, February 23, 2014

Rodale's Basic Organic Gardening: A Beginners Guide to Starting a Healthy Garden by Deborah L. Martin

Disclosure- I received an advanced reader's copy of the book from the publisher via NetGalley. I was not required to write a positive review and all opinions stated are 100% my own.

About the book:

When the inspiration hits to start an organic garden, many novices could benefit from a guidebook that speaks directly to their enthusiasm, their goals, and, of course, their need for solid information that speaks a newbie’s language—from the most trusted source for organic gardening methods.

In Rodale’s Basic Organic Gardening, general garden-building skills (from "Do I need to dig?" to "Where do I dig?") and specific techniques (from "How do I plant a seed?" to "How much should I water?") are presented in growing-season order—from garden planning and planting to growing and harvesting. Many other need-to-know topics like soil, compost, seeds, pest control, and weeds are explained in simple language to ensure success, even on a small scale, on the first try. More than 100 common garden terms are defined, and Smart Starts sidebars offer doable projects to build confidence and enthusiasm for expanding a garden when a gardener is ready. A flower, vegetable, and herb finder highlights easycare plants with good track records. Plus, there are no-dig garden methods, simple garden layouts, and tips and hints inspired by the most popular page views on

With a "no question is unwelcome" approach, a troubleshooting section lessens frustrations and encourages experimentation. Rodale’s Basic Organic Gardening is everything a beginning gardener (or one who’s new to gardening organically) needs to get growing and keep a garden going strong all season.

My thoughts:

I am not someone who was born with the green thumb. There are gardeners in my family but none that live close enough to me for me to go check out what they do to get their crops. I have had enough home grown tomatoes to know that they taste way better than the kind you buy at the stores. I have mentioned on this blog countless times too, about my  quest since my kids came into this world to help them (and my husband and I) establish better eating habits and there is no better way to do that than grow your own food. 3 years ago I tried, and failed, to grow just a few things in my backyard. I lived at a house that was full of gorgeous shade trees that coupled with my novice status as a gardener, I just didn't have the information I needed to really get what I wanted out of planting things. Last year, newly moved into our first home we have owned, I knew I needed (and wanted) to try again. I can not remember what all I planted, but I do know I got spinach, cilantro and zucchini to grow. I have read several gardening books since then trying to figure out what it is I need to do to get things to grow for me and while all of the ones I have read thus far have good information, none of them have been as thorough and extensive as this one. I absolutely want our food to be as pure as possible so I plan to use organic gardening methods, so this is the absolute perfect book for me. I ordered all heirloom/non-gmo seeds from Baker's Creek and have already started several indoors. Rodale's Basic Organic Gardening covers everything about growing your own food starting with the soil and ending with knowing when and how to pick your crops. I found the section on easy to grow plants for beginners extremely helpful and I know that when the books comes out and I buy a hard copy, I will be referring to this book often to get the most I can out of my garden. My goal is to have enough to be able to share! I also really enjoyed the sections on making your own compost and saving seeds to use. Saving seeds would be a real money saver and also a great way to keep these great heirloom crops in circulation. I definitely plan to give it a go.

Beyond the actual planting and growing, there are tips for taking care of weeds, good bugs vs. bad bugs and pretty much anything a new (or new-ish) organic gardener would need to know. I highly recommend this book to absolutely anyone who is interested in becoming a home gardener. This book has absolutely everything you need to know.

Rodale's Basic Organic Gardening will be available for purchase March 11, 2014. You can pre-order a copy on

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